‘Legends cars invade Champion Speedway for West Coast Qualifier’
June 22, 2002
Champion Speedway will be roaring with the sounds of Legends race cars this weekend as drivers compete for only one qualifying spot in each of three divisions in the West Coast Qualifier for INEX Racing, the sanctioning body of the racing series.
The highest finishers in the semi-pro, pro and masters divisions are then eligible to race in the Asphalt Nationals to be held in Dodge City, Kansas in October.
Several local drivers have high hopes of winning their division, including last year’s track champion and Rookie of the Year, Monte Adcock.
“I will win my division, I have to win my division,” said Adcock, who is in the masters division (40-older). “It’s my home track.”
This is Adcock’s first asphalt qualifying race. He said if he wins, he will take on the nationals race in Dodge City.
“Hopefully we’ll have a high skill level of drivers. As long as nothing silly or stupid happens, I should be OK.”
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The most entries are expected in the pro division. A track favorite and past champion in the Legends division is Michael Morrissey Jr. Morrissey took an early lead this year in the national points championship in the pro division and according to the last INEX newsletter, he still has it. He just turned 21 years old and began racing at the age of 15.
“I have great expectations, I just set track record (at Carson City),” said Morrissey Jr.
“The car has a new motor, we have new tires coming. We’re doing really well and the track has been great for us. I think we’ll handle the competition well.
“I hear there’s some big guys from out of town coming, try to stomp on me. But I’m running as fast as ever. Travelers RV (sponsor) is supplying a good car and I’m confident. I hope to put on a good show for everyone. I want to go to Kansas and do well.”
Michael’s crew chief and father, Michael Sr., said they have been logging about 1,500 miles a weekend, traveling to keep Michael in the points chase.
“Back east they race four nights a week, Thursday through Sunday, so we have to do what we can,” said Morrissey Sr. “The West Coaster’s just can’t compete with that.”
Michael Jr. also holds track records in qualifying at four different tracks, Stockton-99, Roseville, Lakeport, all in California, and Carson City.
Kris Martin, business manager of Champion Speedway, said if a minimum of 20 cars show for the main event, there will be a payout of $1,000 to the winner of the 40-lap feature.
INEX Executive Director Darryl Krentz is flying in from North Carolina to oversee the race and set up the show with local officials. Each of the cars will go through a full inspection.
“There are drivers that will sometimes adjust their cars out of the specs we establish, like wheelbase, camber, castor, camber frame heights. We’ll also be checking for engine modifications and weight.
“I assume we will be clocking the cars on qualifying, then hold heat races to help determine starting positions for the main event,” said Krentz.
Krentz will also be guest announcer for Legends racing on the evening.
“Certainly this race should attract the best in each division from the West Coast,” said Krentz.
“Michael (Morrissey Jr.) does have the home field advantage, but he will have some competition. A driver named Charles Hudson from Concord, N.C., one of the best guys on the East Coast, is coming out to qualify. He’s supposed to race a car fielded by Henry Hodges Jr. He could do very well, as well as drivers from Las Vegas, Northern and Central California and we could have drivers from Colorado, Utah and Washington.”
The Asphalt Nationals in Dodge City are expected to draw about 300 drivers from all over the nation.
For information on tonight’s race, call 267-3723 or visit http://www.championspeedway.com.